Gradual Release of Responsibility

The Gradual Release of Responsibility Model - by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey

One way teachers can provide more targeted, individualized instruction is to use the gradual release of responsibility model (Pearson & Gallagher, 1983). This instructional model requires that the teacher, by design, transition from assuming “all the responsibility for performing a task . . . to a situation in which the students assume all of the responsibility” (Duke & Pearson, 2002, p. 211). This gradual release may occur over a day, a week, or a semester. Stated another way, the gradual release of responsibility “emphasizes instruction that mentors students into becoming capable thinkers and learners when handling the tasks with which they have not yet developed expertise” (Buehl, 2005). This gradual release of responsibility model of instruction has been documented as an effective approach for improving writing achievement (Fisher & Frey, 2003), reading comprehension (Lloyd, 2004), and literacy outcomes for English language learners (Kong & Pearson, 2003).

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